The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Whatever you decide to study at college, there’s one thing you can count on – lots of reading assignments. And given that you’re going to spend plenty of hours hitting those books, you’ll probably want to know what you’ll be reading. So DegreeQuery decided to find out.
Using data from Open Syllabus Project, DegreeQuery analyzed 3,603,489 syllabi from more than 2,000 colleges to identify the most assigned books on college reading lists.
Unsurprisingly, more than a few classic texts make an appearance, including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Plato’s Republic, and Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes’ uncompromising examination of human nature, politics, and power.
William Strunk’s The Elements of Style topped the most-assigned book at public schools. This short, accessible writing guide was first published in 1918 and is still one of the best starting points for aspiring academics and wordsmiths.
And although male writers remain overrepresented on college reading lists – 78 of the 100 most assigned books have male authors – Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour appears on more college syllabi than any other work of fiction.
The following infographic lists all the other books that made it onto the list. It also breaks down the most assigned books at private and public schools. You can read more in this article, “The Most Popular College Books”.